Electronic Health Records to Improve Patient Care

January 13, 2011

Springhill Medical Center is joining the ranks of hospitals and healthcare providers across the nation that are enthusiastically embracing the benefits of electronic health records and other forms of health IT.  Like thousands of hospitals and eligible professionals around the country that have already registered, Springhill Medical Center announced today our intention to officially achieve “meaningful use” of electronic health records and register for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).


“We are so pleased to be out in the forefront of healthcare technology in our community,” said Mr. Jeff St. Clair, Hospital President and CEO. “This national support of our electronic health records technology benefits our patients and our community. Springhill has been on the cutting edge for years with our clinical technology, so we’re now in an outstanding position to be one of the first hospitals in the state to register this early.”


January 2011 marks the first time in our nation’s history that hospitals and eligible healthcare providers can register their intent to achieve meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHRs) and qualify for incentive payments under the HITECH Act portion of ARRA. This program is accelerating the transformation of healthcare that was already happening, moving the country closer to nationwide interoperable electronic patient records.


As a gastroenterologist with Internal Medicine Center, Dr. Jonathan D. Siegel estimates that approximately 60% of his patient encounters occur at Springhill Medical Center. 


“The incorporation of electronic health records (EHR) has enhanced patient care in many facets,” he said. “First, and most importantly, it has elevated the level, safety and efficiency of patient care. All clinical information, including laboratory results, radiologic studies, vital signs, current medications, allergies, consultation notes and progress notes are now available to healthcare providers in one consolidated site with the click of a mouse. Physicians now have immediate access to information from prior admissions or other healthcare interactions carried out at Springhill. Additionally, safety checks are now in place to help ensure that healthcare providers are immediately notified of medication interactions or patient allergies. Elevating the quality of patient care while simultaneously improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery is a goal we can all live with.”

Mr. Bob Chappelle, Executive Vice President of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, said he was happy to support Springhill Medical Center in the hospital’s efforts regarding electronic health records.  “The Chamber is a business association with more than 2,200 area businesses representing more than 105,000 individuals who are employed by those businesses,” he said.  “For those individuals – indeed for all citizens –  EHRs can reduce costs, improve safety, increase convenience, and much more. Springhill is playing a key role in improving the delivery of quality healthcare for all patients.  That speaks directly to our community’s quality of life.”